The ancient Celtic fire festival of Beltane traditionally takes place on or around May 1st. Celebration may begin at sunset on April 30th until sunset on May 1st, though the traditional date varies, as it occurs when the sun is at 15 degrees Taurus (May 5th, 2013). Beltane is a celebration of fertility, life, new beginnings, and awakening after a long winter. Beltane is the midpoint between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Like Samhain, Beltane is considered to be an especially magical time of the year! Read more about the history of Beltane, here.
Herbs, Incense and Flowers: honeysuckle, ylang ylang, jasmine, lilac, musk, vanilla, rowan, rosemary, passionflower, peach, ash, broom, cinquefoil, clover, elder, red sandalwood, patchouli, lavender, foxglove, frankincense, sorrel, hawthorn, ivy, lily of the valley, marigold, meadowsweet, mint, thyme, woodruff, angelica, bluebells, daisy, primrose, yarrow, cedar, apple, basil, birch, grape vine, yew, willow
Symbols and Decorations: candles, torches, lanterns, fire, garlands of beads and/or flowers, ribbons, fresh spring flowers, symbols of fertility, eggs, cauldrons, baskets, wreaths
Food and Beverage: dairy, honey, leafy salads, bread, cereals, cakes, cherries, strawberries, seasonal fruits and vegetables, wine, iced tea, mead, ale, lemonade
Activities and Rituals: the Maypole dance (traditional focal point during festivals), music, bonfires, bonfire leaping, spending time in nature, gathering wildflowers, making flower crowns, making flower wreaths, making garlands, jumping the cauldron (for couples wishing to conceive), handfasting, the marriage/union of the May Queen and Green Man, fertilizing plants, nurturing goals, merriment, love-making (preferably outdoors), courtship, games, picnics, activities of pleasure, planting seeds, feasting, scrying with water, braiding hair, fertility and prosperity spellwork, rituals and spellwork associated with the Fae and other elemental entities
Deities: fertility deities, young male and female deities, Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Artemis, Astarte, Andarta, Damona, Bres, Boann, Danu, Brighid, Rosmerta, Epona, Renenutet, Tefnut, Tawaret, Angus Og, Venus, Diana, Bel, Flora, Freyja, Rhiannon, Apollo, Dionysus, Oshun, Maia, Cernunnos, Pan, Faunus, Cupid/Eros, Odin, Frey. In some traditions, the Goddess is in her maiden aspect and the God matures to become the Horned God (Lord of the Hunt, the Oak King). The God courts the Goddess and the two become lovers.
Other names and similar celebrations: May Day, Bealtaine, Bealltainn, Beltaine, Beltain, Shenn de Boaldyn, Walpurgisnacht, Calan Mai / Source 1, Source 2, Source 3 / Decoration Guide